Bands I play in, part 3: TENDER BUTTONS
Gino Robair was one of the first musicians I met when I moved to San Francisco. Luckily for me he's a fantastic and inventive musician. Gino suggested we work with Tom Djll, who is one of my favorite people in the Bay Area - Tom and I both share the same off-beat sense of humor and enjoy musical experimentation. It seemed natural that the three of us evolved into Tender Buttons. The title was coined by Gino after the book by Gertrude Stein.
Since our first show and our album recording that shortly followed, our musical range has been intentionally limited to mostly modular synthesizers and piano or keyboards. More often than not we have managed to find a grand piano for me to play at our concerts.
The best way to describe our sound is as follows:
Tender Button's music is fully improvised but reflects a shared interest in highly contrasting features: textures and dynamics; density and silence.
Tender Buttons lay down a thick ear-cushioning wall-to-wall carpet of minimalist throw-back-60's modernism via intense improvisatory practice.
Note: we are not describing a 60's shaggy carpet here like in Austin Powers.
Think instead of Stockhausen's Kontakte version for electronic sounds, piano and percussion.
I very much like David Tudor, Christoph Caskel and Gottfried Michael Koenig's recording of Kontakte part 1 & 2 from 1960. Very nice. THIS is the Tender Button world.
Photo below is Tom Djll making magic on trumpet and modular synthesizer.
Our forthcoming recordings and performances:
Tender Buttons LP release - no one gets us, but we do, so we are releasing this ourselves
See my Calendar for forthcoming Tender Buttons shows.